End Of April News

In the last two days we had our first garden tour and also had our first meeting vis-à-vis with a friend from Blogland.  But first a quick garden update…DSCF3411

The potatoes sown in the tunnel at the end of last December are just in flower and will be ready for unearthing in a couple weeks.  I wanted to pick some for tonight’s dinner, in honor of a special guest, but Johnny says we’d need to dig up six plants to feed the lot of us.  He’d rather let the spuds get a bit larger, waiting for the plants to begin dying back, before picking any.  Completely understandable.

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This is a picture of our outdoor potato field.  Johnny is there amongst the ridges, just completing the last bit of work.  Aside it is where some of the brassicas will go this year–broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.  Along the wall, behind the spuds, is where we planted the willow gifted to us by Roz and Phil.  The field between the spuds and the poly tunnel is the corn field/pumpkin patch. Peas and runner beans will grow up polls and a teepee or two in the same field.

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Above is the willow pictured several weeks back. Most have started to sprout and are looking really well.  We are looking forward to a nice show from them this summer.

Johnny fixed the spade handle that broke when lifting the birch tree from the tunnel for transplanting. Ironically, he used a birch stake.

Everything is seeded, with the exception of repetitive sowings of onions, beetroot, carrots, lettuce, basil, and coriander. Below are a few pics of seedlings coming along nicely in the warmth of the tunnel.

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All varieties of tomatoes and tomatillos.

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Corn and a variety of runner, wax, soya, and string beans.

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Courgettes

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With thanks to one of Johnny’s American cousins, we got 6 seeds for hugemungous pumpkin plants.

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Sugar snap peas, mangetout, and sweet peas.  Behind are sunflower shoots.

Just realized no pictures of pepper or brassica seedlings.  Ah well, enough already…

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We had our first garden tour yesterday.  A group of eighteen students (four of them our own children 🙂 ) with three teachers.  Every year we give each student at our children’s school a pumpkin for Halloween.  This year they are going to seed, plant, and harvest their own.

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So seeding of Jack O’ Lanterns was done yesterday and they will return in June to plant them in the earth.  In the autumn they will return once again to harvest their own pumpkin.  Johnny demonstrated sowing potatoes and showed them a pesky wire worm found in the soil.  We’re hopeful this discovery won’t effect the potato crop; there was more than one wire worm found.

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 *

Born and raised in Australia, living in Ireland for the last year, Bob Singer and I met in a local island pub last evening where we got a chance to talk face to face for the first time.   Yes, a blogger friend came out to the Aran Islands to see the sights, play some traditional music, and meet me and my family.  I have invited a few, he is the first to accept the invitation, but hopefully not the last.

We became acquainted on the first of this year when I reblogged one of his posts about Wild Connemara, an incredible pictorial about the area which I live in–no not the island itself, but what I gaze at out my kitchen window across the bay.   Tonight he joined us for dinner and then back to a weekly music session just up the road from our house.  It was such a beautiful evening that the session was held in the front garden rather than inside the school.  I’m really looking forward to his post about Inis Mor and seeing more of his stunning scenic photography.

I am an Australian now living in Ireland. I have been here since May 2014 and have based myself in Clare in the country’s west as I set out on a musical journey. I am passionate about traditional music and in particular the fiddle.   I am here to learn, listen and absorb. To immerse myself in the music scene and at the same time to better understand Irish culture. I don’t know how long this journey will take or even whether I will ever go home, only time will tell.”

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He shared much of his interesting life story with me, all leading up to doing exactly what his heart desires, not knowing or worrying about where he’ll be in a months time, but trusting that all is well.  He’s a very content man.  We’d all be blessed to be so clear about what it is that we want and then to commit to whatever it takes to go after and achieve it.

*I just added a cool and groovy ‘flag counter’ to track visitors here by country; on left, at bottom of widgets. How fun is that?!   Kind of disappointed to not be able to add the 2,546 previous visitors we’ve had to the list.  But really appreciate each and every one of you!!* 

44 Comments

    • Most days it feels more like heaven than work. It is laborious, but never dreaded 🙂 The health and harvest are the icing on the cake! And yes, our guest was a great hit with the children, as they were with him. He definitely set the bar high 😉 !

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Greg says:

    What a wonderful garden! I wish I had the room and ability to garden still; what a gratifying thing it is. And quite the variety you all have, too. But my favorite part is the children with their pumpkins. I look forward to seeing how their experience goes. My grandson wants to plant a few pumpkins for Halloween and now I feel inspired to try. Have a blessed day, Melissa (and family !).

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds like a great project for your grandson and you to share together and wonderful that it is his idea.
      I will update when the school tour returns for planting. I am looking forward to it also so they can see how everything progresses, not just the pumpkins. The place should be hopping with color about then.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya Sandra, Just in from another gorgeous day in the garden. I hope you are having as amazing weather lately as we are. I am actually looking forward to a rainy day to catch up in the kitchen (did I really just say that?) 😀

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  2. Thanks for sharing the pictures of your garden and all the good work you do. So impressed! Was the garden wall always there? Did you have to built it? It is a great life you are living, your kids will certainly benefit from learning the practices of sustainability, more importantly…..how to live the life they want, as you and your husband are doing. A gift, being lived, and being given. Here in Maine we are just beginning to plant out seeds. Yesterday , spinach, tatsoi, mixed greens, kale, and chard. It’s a start! Have a great day! denise

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there Denise! The garden walls have always been there. The island, much of Ireland in fact, is like a big quilt of stone wall bordered patches. Built with the stones that were removed from the land in order to grow produce and graze animals and mark land boundaries. Those walls are decades old, if not more. They provide great shelter from the high winds that often come off the Atlantic.
      We like to impress that upon the children, always letting them know there is a big world that they might want to explore as well, and they can take these skills with them. Would be great if one or two stuck around here though. They are all at the age where they declare they will never move out of the house; no where else they want to live, not leaving Mommy and Daddy. So sweet.
      You’ve sown all my favorites! I got 500 onion sets in the ground today and tomorrow is the same. Still bright outside and it is 8:45 in the evening. Lovely. I look forward to seeing your garden progress as well. Take care, Melissa

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Roz Hill says:

    Living the dream Melissa! You, your family, your students, friends and visitors are an inspiration, I am so happy for you all. Looking forward to seeing the basket willow grow too, you found awell protected spot for it. Great! Love Roz and Phil 💛🎻💙🎶💜🎻💚🎶❤️🎻

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes to all that Roz!! Everyday out in the garden I feel so alive and fulfilled. Just love working side by side with Johnny and the children. I am really happy with the willow site and, yes, it is nicely protected. It is in a nice visible spot as well and will be a real eye catcher for the passers by. Thanks again! Xx

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  4. Just popped in and saw this lovely post happy days Melissa we are in heaven with this wonderful weather ,getting lots done here and enjoying every minute of it , how lovely to have the children come and plant their own pumpkins , your an inspiration. Blessings Kathy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! The weather is sheer heaven isn’t it?! The children inspire me! They are a breath of fresh air and so eager to ‘do’ and learn. I enjoy their company and today my mind wandered to thoughts of what else they could do on our farm, in the kitchen…I may be a bit over ambitious!
      I hope you are having fun in the garden yourself! Talk soon, Melissa

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  5. Your property and garden is lovely. You guys are so lucky to have such a long planting season. This year, I’m hoping to do a bit of gardening at the end of May, though I’m hoping that the frost on the ground this morning was not an omen of more winter to come (I’m just north of Toronto). Last year, we were still having frost into June!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes! That is brutal. It doesn’t get very warm here, but I definitely need to keep my focus on the fact that it doesn’t get that cold either…we do have a long growing season. And with the tunnel, it is possible year round. Thanks for that eye-opener. Sometimes I forget how good we have it really as regards to growing our own. Fingers crossed that it warms up for you sooner than later and you too can play in the dirt!

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  6. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    How wonderful to have your school kids there planting pumpkins. Your potato field is very impressive too. How great to meet a fellow blogger. I have too and it was lovely. You must come here sometime when you’re over on the mainland.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. singersong says:

    Thanks Melissa for your kind words.. it was wonderful to meet you and Johnny and your delightful children. I have said it all in my blog but I was so impressed with what you have achieved. Take care and hope to see you all again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Bob 🙂 All straight from my heart. I hope you make it back this summer. So much more to see and do, and with sunlight until well after 10pm! Let me know when you plan your next trip and we will begin to count down the days. Much love from us all, Melissa

      Like

  8. Pingback: A Visitors View of Our World | The Aran Artisan

  9. Pingback: Early June In The Garden | The Aran Artisan

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